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Council / Out of court agreement settles White House dispute

Shetland Islands Council headquarters at North Ness. Photo: Shetland News

SHETLAND Islands Council (SIC) and local building firm Hunter & Morrisons have reached an out of court settlement in the long-running dispute over who had to foot the council’s legal bill in the White House saga.

Almost exactly fours years after the council headquarters at 8 North Ness in Lerwick was hurriedly evacuated after concerns were raised over its structural integrity, both parties in the conflict looked forward to build on their existing working relationship.

While the structural quality of the building had been proved several times over recent years and council employees started moving back into building as of March 2018, the SIC lodged litigation proceedings at the Court of Session to recoup some of the “substantial (…) legal resources [which] have been required to safeguard the council’s interest.”

But ahead of a second Court of Session hearing scheduled for today (Tuesday), both parties have confirmed that an “amicable” out of court settlement has been reached.

None of the parties were prepared to reveal any details of the “amicable agreement”, referring to a non-disclosure agreement that has been signed.

A joint statement issued on Tuesday morning reads: “Shetland Islands Council and Hunter & Morrisons Ltd. have reached an amicable agreement in full and final settlement of the Court of Session action being pursued by Shetland Islands Council against Hunter & Morrisons Ltd.

“Shetland Islands Council and Hunter & Morrisons Ltd. look forward to continuing their working relationship on existing and new projects.”

Throughout the legal dispute, Hunter & Morrisons continued to carry out other building work for the local authority, and has won the contract for refurbishing the old library as well as building several extensions to nursery departments in local schools.